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Russia to open consular office in Jerusalem, resolving dispute with Israel

Israel's Foreign Ministry hailed the agreement reached with Russia over a disputed plot in Jerusalem as a "major achievement."
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds flowers next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they meet at the Kremlin in Moscow on January 30, 2020. (Photo by MAXIM SHEMETOV / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MAXIM SHEMETOV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel’s Foreign Office announced on Friday that Russia will open a consular services office in Jerusalem as part of a deal resolving a yearlong diplomatic and real estate dispute between the two countries.

A statement issued by the Foreign Ministry said that under instructions by Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, a joint team of Israeli diplomats and representatives of the Jerusalem municipality negotiated with Russian officials for several months over a plot of land situated in the corner of King George and Ma’alot streets in the center of the city. 

"According to the agreement reached between the Jerusalem municipality and the Federation of Russia [with the assistance of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Russian Embassy in Israel], an annex of the Russian Embassy’s consular services department will be set up on the abovementioned plot. The annex will include also a conference center and housing for [Russian] diplomats," the announcement read.

It continued that the agreement with Russia is part of Israeli diplomacy’s ongoing efforts to increase the number of diplomatic missions in Jerusalem, hailing the deal as a "major achievement" for Israel’s diplomacy. 

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